The pale unearthly-looking desk clerk handed me the key to my room. “You leave the lobby and take the elevator up. It’s a manual elevator, please be sure to shut the doors after you leave.” I should have known right then and there that this Will Remain Nameless Rome Hotel wasn’t my kind of place, but it wasn’t […]
Things to do in Italy
Italy, the wonderful boot-shaped country that steps into the Mediterranean like a cat-walking fashion model. This popular European destination makes great travel destination, and is one of my go-to holiday spots. In fact, there are so many great things to do in Italy it's hard to get my husband to go anywhere else. Bella Italia offers terrific food, sultry hot springs, fashion, history, art, architecture and more. The cities in Italy are fascinating, the countryside is enticing, and the hill towns are made for strolling around in.
There are so many different sides to Italy it could be a disco ball (when it's not busy being a fashion model) - a sultry disco ball with palm trees and ancient columns, of course. For some top Italy travel ideas read on.
If you're searching around for things to do in Italy you'll be spoiled for choice. Here are a few travel ideas:
- Visit romantic Venice to imagine the decadent days of yore when Casanova wined, dined and bedded the cream of aristocratic womanhood. Of course he also got thrown into jail in Venice, so you can visit Piombi Prison while you're at it. Here's more about What to do in Venice.
- Head to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance to let the dark history of the Medici family come alive. While you're there don't miss seeing The Birth of Venus, the famous masterpiece by Sandro Botticelli at the Uffizi Gallery.
- Don't just stick to the main cities. One of the best things to do in Italy is to get out into the country and visit smaller centres. If you love art, take a train to Padua to see the Giotto frescoes. Or spa in the town of Abano, only 45 minutes from Venice.
- Hike in the Dolomites.
- Spend a day in Milan, this northern Italian city may surprise you.
- For one of the best 'Italy travel' moments, sip a rich Brunello red wine in the hill town of Montalcino in Tuscany.
- Soak in the sultry hot springs pools of Terme di Saturnia.
- Most importantly, go to Rome to toss a coin in Trevi Fountain, so that you're guaranteed to return.
What you need to watch out for regarding Italy travel
- If you rent a car, watch out for speeding tickets. My husband still won't confess how many he got.
- If you want to visit the top museums and galleries or other tourist attractions book ahead. Or miss seeing the Last Supper in Milan like we did.
My final and most important piece of advice when it comes to travel in Italy:
- Don't do them all. There are a million things to do in Italy, but don't get so caught up in seeing the sights you forget to relax, breathe and experience la dolce vita, otherwise known as the sweet life.
When I told my mother I was going to Assisi, a medieval town in Italy, she said that she and my father had gone there on their honeymoon, aka the penniless but thrilling art tour of France and Italy, to see the Giotto frescoes. “You mean Padua,” I said. “The Giotto frescoes in Padua.” “Assisi. […]
From the top of its watery head (Venice) to the tip of its sexy high-heeled boot (Puglia), there are so many things to do in Italy it’s dizzying. Stop twirling around in a panic – you’re making me dizzy, too. Take a deep breath and smell the oregano. There. Don’t you feel better? Now let me tell you […]
Let the tourist onslaught begin! It’s time to spend one day in Florence, Italy where you’ll cross paths with every other tourist in the world – except for the hordes already in Venice. No matter. A few thousand eager travellers clutching their Rick Steves Florence and Tuscany guidebook shouldn’t get in your way. One day […]
There are so many wonderful things to do in Tuscany, a seductive region of Italy that will steal your heart and put a stamp on your soul. Read on to learn what to do in Tuscany: If Tuscany was a woman and you were dating her. (Seriously.) It’s a fact. Tuscany just keeps getting more […]
Compared to the famous trio of Rome, Florence and Venice, the city of Milan is an unsung destination, but with its awe inspiring cathedral, world-class shopping and a bustling confident vibe, this northern Italian city will surprise you. Spend one day in Milan and discover it’s appeal for yourself. We should have booked ahead for […]
It’s a fact. Venice can be wet. Aqua Alta, or High Water, as it’s called, can be a true Venetian adventure, but at some point you’ll want to stay dry. Yes, yes, you can go to the Duomo in St Mark’s Square or the Doge’s Palace like everyone else … or you can branch out. […]
When planning our honeymoon in Venice, Italy, I read in the guidebooks that November is not the time to go because of bad weather. That sounded like the perfect time to go to me. What better way to avoid the tourist crowds jammed into St. Mark’s Square? So what if there is aqua alta, or […]
Okay, time is running out in Italy. With only one day left, here are my big dilemmas about what to do in Venice: Dilemma #1: Should we take a cheesy gondola ride in Venice? This is our honeymoon. We should be doing romantic things like gondola rides. But wait, aren’t Mark and I are too […]
Florence is a wonderful city, a tourist favourite, and I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not just for the art. It’s for the amazing Florence views available to the visitor. They don’t call it La Princessa of Tuscany for nothing. (I just made that up. No one calls it that at all – never […]